Morocco refusing to speak to NL about taking back failed asylum seekers

State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security is struggling to talk to Morocco about taking back Moroccan nationals whose asylum application in the Netherlands had failed. She wanted to visit the country to discuss this matter, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed her that she "would not speak to the right people", she said to parliament on Thursday, NOS reports.

Moroccans who apply for asylum in the Netherlands have little chance of being granted refugee status and a residency permit because Morocco is considered a safe country. But Morocco rarely takes failed asylum seekers back. Broekers-Knol therefore wanted to discuss the matter with her Moroccan counterpart. But she has not managed to speak to the Moroccan Minister, she said in parliament.

The Dutch MPs are outraged. "That is a signal that Morocco is not taking this problem seriously", SP parliamentarian Jasper van Dijk said. The CDA and PVV wanted to know why failed asylum seekers aren't just put on a plane back to their home country, regardless of what that country thinks about it. According to Broekers-Knol, they would just be "posted" back.

GroenLinks MP Bram van Ojik wanted to know why Morocco is refusing to talk to the State Secretary. Broekers-Knol could not say. She said that Foreign Affairs and diplomatic channels indicated to her that a visit would be useless because she "would not speak to the right people". She stressed that Morocco did not refuse to receive her. 

According to Van Dijk and Van Ojik, Morocco's attitude still indicated that the Dutch State Secretary was not welcome. SP suggested that the Dutch cabinet consider taking visa measures against Moroccan government members.